Friday, March 23, 2012

Small Things

Knitting small items has its own satisfactions: easily portable, quick to complete, small design challenges to manage.

These little gloves have been made to match the scarf.   Twisted rib gives a nice neat effect.  I knit these flat, on two needles, adapting a couple of patterns. Somehow I always need the support of a pattern for the technical aspects, such as rate of increase for the thumb gusset, and how to construct the fingers on two needles.  But it is very satisfying to be able to try on the item to get a good fit.

Last Friday, I went up to Oxford on the train for a reunion with a college friend who married a Canadian.

I have not seen her these thirty years, but she was the same in all essentials.  All those years ago, she and I made the costumes for a production of "Royal Hunt of the Sun" in New College.  I recall the versatility of lining fabric; shredded, it did look like feathers when attached  to a cloak, or we thought it did in our innocence.

On the way, I paid what might be a last visit to Annabelinda, which is due to close.  The lovely dresses in there are a delight, although their prices make my eyes water.  I decided I could afford a card of their buttons, covered in antique Chinese braid.  I can see these on a plain brown jacket.

  Covering buttons is an easy and satisfying task.  The second picture shows a button using silk tie fabric from the local silk mill.  I could imagine these becoming addictive.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Design Inspirations

Recently, I met up with a group of my old college friends.  A few hours spent catching up, eating, drinking...and admiring the lovely merino scarf worn by one of them.  Very subtle discreet patterns in a lovely yarn...  so that when I was looking for a small, portable project to knit on the train as we went into London last week this idea popped into my head.

This is a 4-ply yarn, so it is giving me very good stitch definition on these little patterns from Barbara Walker's "Treasury".  In fact these are such simple patterns that I have taken to inventing my own later in the strip.    I've not finished one 100 gm ball yet, so the yardage is excellent.  Very satisfying as a piece of knitting too.

We went to London to see the Grayson Perry exhibition at the British Museum, which is just finishing.  Certainly an interesting idea to curate artefacts from the collections alongside his own work, although the items chosen tend to be folk art.  More problematic, for me, was the assertion from the outset of the role played by his childhood teddy, Alan Measles.  I think I prefer my art more inscrutable than that.  I'd at least have liked to be able to work out that the bear was a recurring theme for myself.

And here we have my husband's latest production: a shoe-rack for our hall.  Nothing inscrutable about this; it does what it says on the tin.  Yet it has a pleasing honesty and integrity about it, in the grain and texture of its material.